By Dan Flaherty
The Oconomowoc Five-O's arrived in Watertown feeling good about a blowout win over Land O'Lakes favorite West Bend on Sunday. About three hours and 373 pitches later, they left still feeling good about the LOL win, but on the wrong end of a 17-10 final against Clyman that many openly admitted afterward was just an ugly game.
Now ugly is not to be confused with uninteresting and in spite of the score this was tight into the seventh inning. The O's got on the board first with a run after Nash Bell ripped a double to deep center and eventually scored on an RBI groundout by Josh Bouche. The teams traded four-spots in the bottom of the first and top of the second-and it was the Oconomowoc rally that some of the ugliness started-Clyman threw three wild pitches, including one on a strikeout that started the rally.
Clyman was, in reality, a combination team that included players from Watertown and the depth of their lineup was apparent as they had hitters who made solid contact all night and were able to add two runs in the bottom of the second to get a 6-5 lead.
That score held until the top of the fifth when the O's again got a rally started on a wild pitch after a strikeout. An infield hit and a single to right tied the score. Clyman was able to come back on a combo of three singles and two wild pitches in their own half of the fifth, and then an infield hit, hit batsmen, error and wild pitch in the sixth. When the dust settled it was 11-7.
Oconomowoc still kept clawing back and made a game of it. Bell reached on an infield hit and then Matt Groehler bounced one over the mound that looked like it was going to be an infield single. The pitcher inexplicably hurled his glove to try and stop the high chopper. That's a three-base penalty and it scored a run and put Groehler on third. He scored on a single by Jeff Rhoads, who eventually came around himself after Josh Bouche laced a shot down the right field line. It was now 11-10 and the game was very much on.
But Clyman quickly re-asserted control, and it wasn't ugliness, just solid contact hitting as they strung together four straight singles and built a 14-10 lead heading into the eighth. Oconomowoc still had a chance, but Clyman mounted a drive and booted another field goal to get a 17-10 cushion. The O's still had a chance, as a strong kickoff return gave them good field position and a chance to get the tying touchdown. But a timeout burned early in the game proved costly and the Clyman secondary was able to keep the passing game in the middle of the field. So even though the O's put two men on, the clock ran out and they dropped to 3-2 in the Tri-County Night League.
Oconomowoc was missing a couple key players in Derek Nelson and Chandler Ziemann. The official press statement put out on Ziemann said he was at firefighting training and preparing to serve the community. In reality, we're seeking to confirm rumors that he was auditioning to star in next season's The Bachelorette.